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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Ahead of Print

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictive measures on acute appendicitis: Do not let your guard down


1 Department of General Surgery, Hospital Británico de Buenos Aires, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina
2 Department of General Surgery, Hospital Británico de Buenos Aires, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires; Department of Esophagogastric Surgery, Hospital Británico de Buenos Aires, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina
3 Department of General Surgery, Hospital Británico de Buenos Aires, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires; Department of Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Surgery, Hospital Británico de Buenos Aires, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina
4 Department of General Surgery, Hospital Británico de Buenos Aires, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires; Department of Abdominal Wall Surgery, Hospital Británico de Buenos Aires, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina

Correspondence Address:
Jeronimo Jose Herrera,
Hospital Británico de Buenos Aires, Perdriel 74, 1280, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires
Argentina
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmas.jmas_267_21

PMID: 35046185

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the usual dynamics of consultation and presentation for acute appendicitis (AA). The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of the pandemic and restrictive measures on the cases of AA. Subjects and Methods: A retrospective study of patients diagnosed with AA between December 2019 and July 2020 was conducted. Patients were classified into two groups; one that underwent treatment in the 16 weeks before the implementation of lockdown in Argentina (Group 1) and another that underwent treatment in the 16 weeks after (Group 2). Demographic, clinical and surgical variables were evaluated. Results: Overall, 91 patients underwent surgery, 61 and 30 patients in each group, showing a 51% drop in the incidence. The second group delayed seeking medical care longer (mean 46 h vs. 27 h, P < 0.05), had a higher rate of perforated appendicitis (30% vs. 11%, P < 0.05) and a higher rate of complicated appendicitis (56.6% vs. 18%, P < 0.01). These results were associated with a longer operative time (43.7 ± 15.5 min vs. 36.1 ± 11.1 min, P < 0.05) and a longer mean length of hospital stay (1.9 days vs. 1.4 days, P < 0.01); however, no increase in the quantity and severity of post-operative complications was observed. Conclusion: COVID-19 pandemic and restrictive social measures led to fewer consultations for abdominal pain, resulting in a lower number of AA diagnosed. In addition, a longer delay in seeking medical care was observed, leading to more advanced disease, longer operative time and length of hospital stay.


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    -  Herrera JJ
    -  Arrechea R
    -  Mihura M
    -  Bregante M
    -  Medina JP
    -  Pirchi DE
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2004 Journal of Minimal Access Surgery
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 15th August '04